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See Art Orlando

This Monday, November 18th, my friend and I arrived at Lake Eola and stumbled on something unexpected.  It was more crowded than I’ve ever seen before, and it looked like there was a fancy party going on around the lake. Curiosity struck me like lightning and I dashed over to one of the authoritative-looking types donning a t-shirt that said SAO. She informed me that tonight was the See Art Orlando Walking Tour. And (score!) it was FREE to the public. This walking tour was the official grand opening/launch of See Art Orlando’s eight permanent public art sculptures in downtown Orlando, six of which are around Lake Eola. The art pieces are different sizes and of various mediums, some of which include LED lights and the use of kinetic energy. Here’s the breakdown:

Astrogenesis II by Wendy Ross – It’s 30 feet tall and it lights up. To me, it looks half space age and half dandelion.

Global Convergence by Deedee Morrison – This sculpture looks like a cross between a giant version of “The Galaxy” from Men in Black and a fish tank exclusively containing a school of Shoal Bass.

Muse of Discovery by Meg White – GASP! There’s a giant buried in the grass and all we can see is her face and hand… creepy. Yet, I think it will grow on us just as the grass grows on it.

Take Flight by Douwe Blumberg – From a certain angle, this looked like thorns, not birds, but either way it looks very cool. The birds are coming up out of the water to fly.

Union by Ralfonso Gschwend – It moves! it shines! But seriously, See Art Orlando said it best, “Just as life moves in unpredictable ways, Union makes visible the effect and interaction of unseen forces.”

Monument in Right Feed Major by Todji Kurtzman – This one is a giant person with very oversized legs who is looking at the ground, like George Michael does on “Arrested Development” whenever the Charlie Brown score is played.

Cedar of Lebanon by Jacob Harmeling- Exactly what it sounds like: a sculpture of a cedar. It’s lit from within, completely beautiful, and playground adjacent. The biggest part of the See Art Orlando Walking Tour party was located there. Winter themed stilt walkers drew quite a crowd.

Centered by C.J. Rench- This one looks like an impressionistic eye, but it represents Orlando as the center of a bunch of great things. The official description was sappier than Aaron Sorkin’s writing, so I’ll spare you the details.

According to See Art Orlando, “more than 180 submissions from 16 countries and 36 states were reviewed,” before they chose the eight that are now on display in downtown Orlando. It seems fitting that one of the chosen artists is from Central Florida. Participants of the walking tour could pick up a map and a booklet featuring the eight sculptures. During the tour, stamps were given in a “passport book” at each of the sculptures. After collecting all eight stamps, the booklet acted as an entry form for a raffle. Unfortunately, the list of raffle prizes was on the booklet I turned in, so I can’t tell you what they were. I choose to believe that they are fantastic prizes and I hope to win something! These sculptures are now a permanent part of Orlando, so run or walk downtown and take in the new sights!

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